Friday, May 15, 2009

Report from Art Chicago

Chad Mount, an artist in Oklahoma City, recently recieved an OVAC Education Grant to help fund a research and networking trip to Art Chicago. As part of his grant requirements, he has provided this report of his trip to share some of what he learned with other artists.

Art Chicago was a great experience. I wasn't sure what to expect as I had not attended an art fair before. I did know there would be galleries representing from around the world and that I'd get to peruse them, looking for galleries that I felt would be a good fit with my art. I found fewer than I expected, but really I did come away with one or two.

The nice thing about a fair is that once you find a gallery in which you feel you may fit, there's an opportunity to engage them in discussion about the artists they currently represent. From that exchange you can determine, if you would want this gallery to represent you. I found plenty that were not personable and do not represent their artists well.

It's hard to measure the value of an experience like this. There was some great work, but some pretty bad work too. The good and the bad both have their inspiring qualities. The good left me wanting to strive harder to push myself in new directions and the bad, for the sake of this report, I'll play nice and say, Art Chicago was not the end all be all.
There were many lectures. I attended two that left me inspired. One was with
Nick Cave and Cynthia Rowley. They talked about innovative thought, breaking out of customary roles with regards to living and working as artists, and the birth of less conventional ways of showing ones art, like turning home spaces into galleries. The art world was in a bit of a bubble with some outrageous prices. With the financial crisis in this country and the world, the art bubble popped, bringing prices down to more realistic levels. Many of the current trends they discussed I already see happening in Oklahoma which was nice to learn.
I also learned of new strategies for acquiring art that some collectors are exploring.

The Collectors Fund is an organization of American art collectors lead by Sandy Kemper. They are all about shared collections, where the art has rotation periods in the collectors homes. The Chambers Luxury Art Hotel seems like an amazing place and they collect contemporary art from the very established to the student and have video artists screening throughout the hotel 24/7. UBS secures works directly from the artists for their collection.

I encourage you to check out these websites,, and the

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